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English Premier League 2023-24 Wrap: Arsenal 4 Points Clear After Wolverhampton Wanderers Win, Newcastle Beat Manchester United Again

Anthony Gordon's goal helped Newcastle secure a 1-0 victory over Manchester United despite suffering from injuries and VAR controversy. Elsewhere, Arsenal beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 and Burnley thrashed Sheffield United 5-0

Newcastle United players celebrate their victory over Manchester United in the EPL football match
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Ravaged by injuries and hurting from a cruel VAR call in midweek, Newcastle was hardly in ideal shape as the same 11 players were sent out by manager Eddie Howe for a third straight game for the English Premier League meeting with Manchester United on Saturday. (More Football News)

You'd never have known.

Newcastle's dominant 1-0 win at St. James' Park was testament to the unwavering spirit in a squad being stretched to the limit as the Saudi-owned club challenges for trophies on all fronts.

At the same time, it was a reality check for Man United after its recent revival in the league marked by narrow, scrappy wins and sensational goals.

Anthony Gordon's 55th-minute goal proved to be enough for Newcastle, which — in the space of a week — has beaten Chelsea and Man United either side of being denied a famous Champions League win at Paris Saint-Germain because of a roundly condemned handball decision.

“It's been a massive week for us,” Gordon said. “The same 11 players have played three games on the bounce and we've pulled through.

“It's not just the guys who are injured — the guys who are playing are injured. We've got kicks and bruises all over.”

Indeed, injuries are really starting to bite. The list was already into double figures before goalkeeper Nick Pope went off in the 86th minute with a suspected dislocated shoulder, sustained when he dived to stop a shot that never actually reached him.

The schedule doesn't get any easier, though. Newcastle doesn't have a midweek off in December, during which the team plays in the League Cup quarterfinals and finishes off its Champions League group campaign.

Its remaining fit players are running on fumes but are still decently placed in fifth — seven points behind Premier League leader Arsenal, which beat Wolverhampton 2-1 on Saturday.

United, which had won five of its previous six league games, dropped to seventh place and had only one shot on target in a tired-looking display coming three days after a 3-3 draw at Galatasaray in the Champions League.     

Four Points Clear

Arsenal stretched its lead to four points after scoring early goals through Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard before hanging on against Wolves.

Manchester City and Liverpool — the teams who started the weekend placed second and third — are in action on Sunday and can trim the gap back down to one point.

Both of Arsenal's goals were well worked, with Saka scoring in the sixth minute after a buildup including Gabriel Jesus and Takehiro Tomiyasu and Odegaard converting a cross from Oleksandr Zinchenko from the left.

Zinchenko was at fault for Wolves' goal, scored by Matheus Cunha in the 86th, and there were some nervy moments in stoppage time.

"The team was extraordinary again today,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said of his players, who were coming off a 6-0 win over Lens in the Champions League in midweek. 

15-Second Goal

Jay Rodriguez got the ball rolling for Burnley in its 5-0 thrashing of 10-man Sheffield United by scoring inside 16 seconds, yet that wasn't his fastest goal in the league.

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Almost 10 years ago to the day, the striker netted after just 13.58 seconds for Southampton against Chelsea. No other player in the competition's history has two goals that quick.

It was a dismal start to a forgettable match for Sheffield United, which was 2-0 down by the time Oli McBurnie was sent off in first-half stoppage time for collecting two yellow cards. Both of them were for elbowing Burnley defender Dara O'Shea in the face.

Burnley scored three goals in a seven-minute span from the 73rd to tie for the biggest ever league win by a team that started a match in last place.

The win ended Burnley's record seven-match losing run at home to start this season. That losing streak at home was nine matches in total in the Premier League, taking in the final two games of the 2021-22 campaign when the team was relegated.

Sheffield United dropped to last place and has conceded 39 goals in 14 games.     

Everton's Mission

Everton was plunged into the relegation zone on the back of its record 10-point deduction for financial mismanagement. The team is unlikely to stay there for long.

A 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest gave Everton its first points since the sanction and lifted Sean Dyche's side to within two points of safety.

With Luton — which lost at Brentford 3-1 — immediately above and Burnley and Sheffield United below, Everton can capitalize on there being three weak teams near the bottom of the league.

Dwight McNeil scored Everton's winner at the City Ground, arrowing a diagonal shot into the top corner in the 67th minute to cap a strong display by the visitors.

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There were jeers from the home fans at the final whistle. Forest manager Steve Cooper joins Sheffield United's Paul Heckingbottom in being under big pressure after 14 games, with — somewhat unusually — no coaches having been fired so far this season.

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